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Franchise vs. Startup: The Charleys Difference

Franchise vs. Startup

Once you’ve decided to run your own business, you’ve got the next big decision to make: whether to invest in a franchise system or go alone with a startup. There are pros and cons with each option, and it truly comes down to your own goals and desires as a business owner. It’s important to take the time to research both business types and see what aligns with your priorities. But first, let’s look closer at what is a franchise vs startup.

A franchise system is a model of delivering services or products that starts at the top with a franchisor, which establishes the brand trademark and business model, and the franchisee, who buys into the brand name and system. For franchisees, part of that investment pays dividends with established brand recognition, access to distributors, as well as the backing support and training of the franchisor. Candidates who make for the best franchisees are people who can take a blueprint for success and follow it. Though, it should be noted, some franchise systems allow discretion and decision-making from franchise to franchise, allowing some freedoms of independent business. Franchises have proven to be one of the most successful business models in the world, with more than 750,000 franchise locations in the U.S. alone.

Startups, as the name implies, are businesses created from scratch. Most entrepreneurs who chose to go down the path of independent business ownership want complete and total freedom in the fate of the business. In this model, the financial fate of the business, employees, and livelihood are entirely on your shoulders. While some people value the entrepreneurship of total responsibility, startups hold inherent risk. There’s little room for error, both in decision-making and with financial resources. A significant amount of time and money must be invested in building your brand. And, there’s no net to fall back on should questions arise or operations go awry. It’s why in the U.S., about 90% of startups ultimately fail.

charleys franchise vs startup

What Does a Franchise Offer that a Startup Can’t?

Franchising offers one of the best bet investments for aspiring entrepreneurs trying to realize their dreams of business ownership. In this section, we break down just what makes franchising so special: strong brand recognition, franchise support, and less overall risk.

Strong Brand Recognition

When you choose to franchise, you’re investing in a business that has already done all the legwork in establishing brand recognition. Ask any business expert, and you’ll find that building brand awareness is one of the most difficult components of running a business. People who chose to launch a startup already have enough on their plate to start a business from scratch – add getting your business name out there so people know you exist, and you can see why so many independent businesses fail.

Franchises, on the other hand, already have built-in brand awareness. This puts the franchisee at a huge advantage to bring in profits – people already know what products and services you offer, and can come into your location expecting quality customer care. Also, with the franchise system, you can expect the franchisor is constantly at work advertising and marketing to build stronger brand recognition. And, with every location you and your fellow franchisees open, the name of the brand’s reach becomes wider and wider.

Franchise Support

Another benefit franchising offers that startups don’t is world-class backing and support. In most cases, franchisors have spent years perfecting a business model and learning how most effectively to teach that process to franchisees. Franchisors also have vast resources to offer franchisees training and support leading up to the opening of the location, as well as for the life of the franchise. For so many entrepreneurs, franchising offers a perfect balance between being able to run your own business, while also having the vast knowledge and expertise of a corporate team always just a call away.

With a startup, you’re truly on your own. Whereas franchising has a training and support program that covers everything from advertising, sales and business operations, independent business owners must figure it all out on their own. With so much unknowns and risk already inherent to running a business, it’s no wonder why franchises have a significantly larger success rate than startups.

Less Overall Risk

Let’s face it, starting any kind of business involves some level of risk. That’s just reality. However, franchising is by far a safer bet for entrepreneurs. The franchise system offers a proven business model, with all the training and support you could ask for at your fingertips. A large part of your investment into the franchise system is all the experience you now have direct access to, whether on marketing strategies, day-to-day business operations, developing a customer base, and much more.

With a startup, you are literally starting from the ground up. It’s on you to build your own brand, there’s little room for error, and when things get tough, there is no support network or safety net. That’s not to mention having to figure out every aspect of the business – websites, supply chain, legal work, financing, and real estate — just to name a few. Franchises, however, have you covered every step of the way.

The Charleys Difference

Charleys Philly Steaks has proven to be a best bet investment for hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs. With one of the most storied success stories in the franchise industry, Charleys Philly Steaks now boasts more than 720 locations across the U.S., with plans to open hundreds more over the next few years. How that’s all made possible, of course, is having a franchise model that works and puts the franchisee in the best position for growth.

For starters, Charleys Philly Steaks is a fan favorite for customers craving the classic Philly cheesesteak. There are just no other competitors in the QSR market or restaurants in general who deliver such a delicious Philly cheesesteak. From the beginning, all our growth stems from offering a product people love and keep coming back for. From there, we have developed several restaurant models that allow franchise owners flexibility and versatility in operations, whether that’s through freestanding units, drive-thrus, in-line locations in strip malls, food courts in malls, and even airports. Being where customers are is one of the key ingredients to Charleys Philly Steaks’ growth.

Also, at Charleys Philly Steaks, we take all of the guesswork out of how to run a restaurant. That’s because we offer one of the more comprehensive and robust training and support programs in the industry. From day one, you’ll benefit from initial training, ongoing support, performance coaching, marketing and operational support, inventory, ongoing business development, and much more. Our business model is tailored to make sure you start making money fast, especially during the early days of operation, which are always the most tenuous for new businesses. That’s accomplished by keeping initial investment costs low, and profit potentials high.

Invest In A Charleys Philly Steak Franchise Today!

Now, more than ever, Americans are leaving their jobs with the desire to take their own destiny in their hands through small business ownership. But, time and again, the franchise model has proven to be a smarter investment than going at it alone with a startup. Franchising truly offers an unmatched balance between being your own boss, while at the same time, having a system in place that gives you the best chance of growth. To learn more about the franchise opportunity at Charleys Philly Steaks, visit our research pages or request more information here.